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Estimates of Energy Intake and Expenditure in Elite Female Touch Players During an International Tournament

Nicola Marsh, Nick Dobbin, Craig Twist, and Chris Curtis

This study assessed energy intake and expenditure of international female touch players during an international tournament. Energy intake (food diary) and expenditure (accelerometer, global positioning system) were recorded for 16 female touch players during a four-day tournament, competing in 8.0 ± 1.0 matches; two on Days 1, 2, and 4, and three on Day 3. Total daily energy expenditure (43.6 ± 3.1 Kcal·kg-1 body mass (BM)) was not different (p > .05) from energy intake (39.9 ± 9.4 Kcal·kg-1 BM). Carbohydrate intakes were below current recommendations (6–10 g·kg-1 BM) on Days 1 (4.4 ± 0.6 g·kg-1 BM) and 3 (4.7 ± 1.0 g·kg-1 BM) and significantly below (p < .05) on Day 2 (4.1 ± 1.0 g·kg-1 BM). Protein and fat intakes were consistent with recommendations (protein, 1.2–2.0 g·kg-1 BM: fat, 20–35% total Kcal) across Days 1–3 (protein, 1.9 ± 0.8, 2.2 ± 0.8, and 2.0 ± 0.7 g·kg-1 BM; fat, 35.6 ± 6.8, 38.5 ± 6.4, and 35.9 ± 5.4% total Kcal). Saturated fat intakes were greater (p < .05) than recommendations (10% total Kcal) on Days 1–3 (12.4 ± 2.9, 14.2 ± 5.1, and 12.7 ± 3.5% total Kcal). On average, female touch players maintained energy balance. Carbohydrate intakes appeared insufficient and might have contributed to the reduction (p < .05) in high-intensity running on Day 3. Further research might investigate the applicability of current nutrition recommendations and the role of carbohydrate in multimatch, multiday tournaments.

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Anthropometric Profiles and Physical Characteristics in Competitive Female English Premiership Rugby Union Players

Xiang Yao, Christopher Curtis, Anthony Turner, Chris Bishop, Alex Austerberry, and Shyam Chavda

Rugby union (RU) is a field-based team sport with a large number of high-intensity actions such as sprinting, change of direction, tackling, scrummaging, rucking, and mauling. Competitive success in female RU has previously been related to anthropometric and physical characteristics, and with the recent introduction of professionalism in female rugby, characterizing such physical attributes may provide insight into selection and training processes. Purpose: To identify anthropometric and physical characteristics of competitive female RU players and differences between playing positions. Methods: Twenty-two players were recruited from the top tier of female RU in the United Kingdom during the 2018–2019 Premiership season. Players were split into forwards and backs and underwent body composition testing via dual-X-ray absorptiometry and physical characteristic tests (10- and 20-m speed, 1-repetition-maximum bench press and squat, countermovement jump, drop jump, isometric midthigh pull, and 1200-m shuttle). Results: Moderate to large significant differences between playing positions in both anthropometric and physical characteristics were found (P < .01). Forwards displayed greater body mass (P = .03), fat mass (P = .01), and absolute upper-body strength (P = .03), whereas backs demonstrated superior countermovement jump height (P = .01), drop jump height (P = .01), greater reactive strength (P = .03), and speed (P = .03). Conclusion: These findings provide practitioners with a greater understanding of anthropometric and physical characteristics of professional female RU players.

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Variation in Heart-Rate Profile During a Prolonged, Submaximal Swim Bout

Curtis S. Goss, Joel T. Greenshields, Chris L. Brammer, Kosuke Kojima, Brian V. Wright, Robert F. Chapman, and Joel M. Stager

Purpose: To describe the heart-rate (HR) response during a prolonged, submaximal, multirepetition swimming bout (ie, typical early-season swimming training), as there is currently little or no literature on this topic. Methods: A total of 12 collegiate swimmers were instructed to complete sixty 91.4-m (100-yd) freestyle repetitions at their fastest sustainable pace, allowing between 5 and 10 seconds of rest between repetitions. Each swimmer was outfitted with a cardiotachometer, which monitored HR throughout the trial. Completion time (CT) was also recorded for each repetition. Individual means of HR and CT were calculated, and linear mixed models were used to determine the trend across repetitions and between- and within-subject SD for HR and CT. Results: The mean (SD) value for HR was 167.8 (10.8) beats per minute (bpm), for CT was 68.7 (4.1) seconds, and for percentage of best time was 71.2% (4.5%). There was no change (Δ rep 55–6) in HR (−0.1 bpm; 95% confidence interval, −6.8 to 6.6 bpm; P = .97), whereas CT increased (3.0 s; 95% confidence interval, 1.5–4.4 s; P = .001). The between-subjects SD (95% confidence interval) for HR was 12.6 (8.4–19.3 bpm) and for CT was 4.6 (3.1–7.0 s). The within-subject SDs for HR and CT were 4.0 (3.8–4.3 bpm) and 0.9 (0.8–0.95 s), respectively. Conclusions: The inherent individual variability between swimmers in HR during training suggests that coaches carefully consider the common practice of prescribing workout intensity using rigid HR zones.